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The Innocence of a Slave from Barbados

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Judge Danforth and other people of the court, on any other day, I would stand before you not as a lawyer but as a hardworking, god fearing farmer. I own forty acres just north of Beverly. I have two baptized sons and a loyal Christian wife whom I love dearly. Come spring, we will work our land and plant crops. We will toil every day in an effort to survive another year. We will battle constant adversity ranging from the drought in the summer to the harsh cold in the winter. We will pray every day and go to church every Sunday. It will be tough, but God will guide us through our struggles. Knowing this, you would look at me and judge not. When this trial ends, you will return to your normal lifestyle and I will, too. We will go back to worshipping our lord and continue to work hard to serve him. However, the opposite is said about Tituba. The whispers echo through the town as loudly as the church bell rings. Although she is much like me, a loving and hardworking Christian, you cry only witchcraft when her name is spoken. If she is found guilty after these trials, you will have doomed this good Christian woman for being nothing you and I are not. During these final moments of the trial, I ask that you look into your hearts and make a Christian decision instead of one out of fear and selfishness. I propose that you find my client, Tituba, innocent of witchcraft and dismiss these foolish accusations in general.

First of all, I would like to reiterate that Tituba is a good and loving woman. She is morally righteous in every aspect of the words. She obeys her master Mr. Parris despite his tyrannical ways which the church goers have mentioned. If she didn't obey him, don't you thing he would have done away with her as his servant? She is trusted to care for the children. Only positive statements have been made about them. She says things like, "I love me Betty." Being the slave in the home would have given Tituba many opportunities to harm people if she wished. A servant is tasked with many responsibilities that would likely require her to be the first one up and last one to bed. A servant must cook for the household, they must clean for the household, and they must care for the household. Yet, servants still do so with a positive attitude and respect for their masters. Does this seem like witchcraft or evil doing to you?

It is quite evident that Tituba is a victim of discrimination. She is a woman in her forties, she is a black, and she is a slave. These characteristics would cause her to be seen as the lowest ranking of all the social classes. The girls were pressured by Reverend Parris, Hale, and other adults to explain their actions in the forest. As is natural, instead of taking the blame for their wrong doing, they looked to turn the attention on someone else. That someone was a weaker and less powerful person, Tituba. The adults, especially Reverend Parris supported this accusation because it was one that best fit their motives. As we all know, Mr. Parris is a man of great power, and he didn't want to jeopardize his reputation with the deeds of his daughter, Betty, and his niece, Abigail. As you've already heard, the Proctor's were dissatisfied with Abigail as their maid, and she was fired. News of their dealings in the forest would be a devastating blow to Parris's ministerial authority. Plus, it is only human nature to eliminate the weakest member of a group because it will have the smallest impact. These girls were clearly acting with their own free will. It is implausible a slave woman of such low status could command children to do things for her when they have commanded her to do things for them all their lives. We must refrain from acting like savages and instead be civilized Christians. Galatians



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